learn Finalist / 2019
Education & support for survivors of sex trafficking and other injustices.
We're proud to share that our organization is growing quickly and we now need more support to meet the demands for more programs. This project will provide our students with committed educators, providing our team with important players needed to grow our infrastructure and thrive!
What does your organization do?
Humanity was created for freedom. Using the arts of fashion and beauty, we empower youth and women overcoming trafficking, homelessness, and other injustices.
Briefly tell us a story that demonstrates how your organization turns inspiration into impact.
Freedom and Fashion started in 2008. Beginning as an awareness platform, we quickly became known for our compelling annual fashion shows. This platform was an opportunity for the community, anti-human trafficking organizations, and fair trade brands to come together to raise much-needed awareness about the reality of human trafficking in Los Angeles.
As time went on we noticed that though we were raising valuable awareness, there was an opportunity to directly impact trafficking survivors and we became inspired!
In 2013, we incorporated our powerful programs into our mission. One of which we call “The Fashion Experience”. In this program, we use the power of fashion and mentorship to promote positive transformation while creating a fashion line. Our students learn how to design and create garments from industry professionals while deeply exploring who they are and the power they possess.
Now our Annual Freedom and Fashion Show continues to raise awareness about the injustices our students are overcoming (i.e.: sex trafficking, homelessness, abandonment, physical abuse) while showcasing their original designs!
From creative direction to ambiance to the clothing on the runway, this show is 100% designed and inspired by our students and their stories. Open to the public, this powerful experience gives the community an opportunity to show their support by investing in the programs that follow. It’s truly a celebration of our student’s power, creativity, and uniqueness!
This event has been proven to positively impact everyone involved. It comes in high demand by our students, their families, our partners, and supporters every year.
Which of the learn metrics will your submission impact?
- District-wide graduation rates
- Student education pipeline
In which areas of Los Angeles will you be directly working?
- Central LA
- San Gabriel Valley
How will your project make LA the best place to learn?
Freedom is relative. Although these women are free, physically, most survivors of trafficking and other forms of abuse are still held captive by their trauma(s). Without a breakthrough, mental captivity can lead to more abuse, addiction, homelessness, and even suicide. Here are some of the facts on the population we serve:
-As many as 20,000 kids are forced into prostitution by human trafficking networks every year.
-The average age of a teen entering the sex trade is 12 to 14 years old.
-Ages 12-34 are the highest risk years for rape and sexual assault
-In order to fully heal they must be in a caring, inclusive environment that promotes breakthrough, purpose, and creative thinking. We have 3 powerful programs that were uniquely designed to take students from a place of discouragement to a place of reality and power: The Fashion Experience, The Beauty Experience, and The Stylist Experience. We combine creative job training with coaching methodology to enable our students to create a new vision and accomplish aggressive goals.
These programs have been tested and proven to authentically empower and educate our students. They are the center of our mission.
In the next 6 months, we look forward to hiring a Program Instructor to conduct our programs and work closely with our partners to measure our results on a holistic level. (i.e. school attendance, grade point average, character evaluations, behavior, physical health, graduation rate, etc.)
One teacher can change the trajectory of a students life. Our instructors play the lead role in shaping successful students who not only thrive in their current environments but graduate and go forth to lead in their future college campuses and workplaces. When we have a committed instructor on our team, we’ll multiply our results quickly and more students will thrive in Los Angeles.
This project will also help us hire a much need Sponsorship Director/Fundraiser. This position is crucial in getting our students the tools they need to heal and create new lives for themselves and families. Nearly all of the students we serve do not have all of the resources they need when we first meet them. We look forward to filling this gap and providing them with all of the tools they need.
In addition, this project will provide much-needed support to our Executive Director. Real impact starts with a healthy foundation and support. We need our dedicated leaders to have proper salaries and protection. (insurances, workers comp, etc.) Our current Executive Director has proven to multiply our impact year after year. We know even more growth will happen when our team can fully focus on our mission without financial hindrances or the need for outside employment. This will greatly impact our organization as a whole and enable us to better serve and teach women and youth overcoming injustice in Los Angeles.
In what stage of innovation is this project?
Expand existing program (expanding and continuing ongoing successful projects)
Please explain how you will define and measure success for your project.
We will measure the impact of our Program Instructor with progress reports from our partner organizations (i.e. school attendance, grade point average, character evaluations, behavior, physical health, graduation rate, etc.), feedback from other team members, number of youth served, student feedback forms, interviews, report cards, etc.
We will measure our Sponsorship Director’s impact with progress reports from our Executive Directors, feedback from our other team members, fundraising reports, and feedback from our sponsors.
We will measure the impact of our Executive Director with evaluations and progress reports from our Board of Directors, feedback from our other team members, financial reports, feedback report from our partner organizations, and the overall health and growth of our organization.